Are Basketball Shoes Durable? A Durability Guide

Are Basketball Shoes Durable: Durablity of Basketball Shoes 2023

When you buy a sneaker for the game whose performance heavily depends on its footwear, you are genuinely concerned about its material resilience and longevity.

Are Basketball Shoes Durable?

Generally, you can only buy an expensive shoe that would last a season or two. Hence it is necessary to spend a few hours researching a durable basketball shoe before you invest a good amount in buying one.

I have seen many basketball shoes that didn’t last a season. On the other hand, few durable sneakers lasted many seasons. After years of research and speaking of my experience, consider a few things to buy durable basketball shoes. 

Does Durability Makes A Difference?

I always opt for a durable basketball shoe on any surface, be it an indoor hardwood court or outdoor rough concrete terrain. At the same time, I keep in mind that its durable material should not block the air circulation around the feet. 

That said, durability makes a huge difference if you are a regular basketball player. Number one, it adds confidence to your game. The more you are confident about shoe durability and other performance aspects, the more it can help you meet your maximum physical potential.

Moreover, who wants something other than a shoe which would be your sole-mate for a few seasons? Jokes apart, it can be painful to know that your favourite hoop shoe has torn apart after the initial break-in period. It should top your list when looking for a nice basketball shoe pair.

Durable Materials Used in Basketball Shoes

Anyone buying a basketball shoe should know the materials used to make the upper. Choosing the right type of upper will make it much easier to select the best pair for yourself.

Here we have listed all the materials a basketball shoe comprises. Also, giving you a complete guide about the durability profile of a specific material.

Are Basketball Shoes Durable: Durablity of Basketball Shoes 2023

Upper Materials

Basketball shoes use one or a mix of these materials.


Initially, basketball shoes were made up of leather. The leather proved durable, given the hard cuts and its usage on rough terrain with all kinds of toe drags.

It can easily last a few seasons. Basketball shoes with complete leather upper materials need to trend for two reasons. One, they are heavy on foot and increase the overall weight of shoes. Two, it’s less breathable. So it’s being replaced with other quality materials these days.


Suede is also a type of leather. It looks more premium on basketball shoes. Usually, we see suede overlays on different parts of basketball shoes to improve aesthetics and durability.

Textile Mesh

Next up, the most popular upper material is synthetic mesh. It is as durable as leather but much lighter in weight than leather. Hence, it gives more freedom of movement to the quick player, like a guard. 

Textile mesh is way more popular than any other material. Most signature basketball shoes are completely made up of mesh. However, they use synthetic overlays and plastic materials on some parts for improved durability and design. 

Knit Material

Last, we have shoes with knit material upper. Knit upper materials are a little stretchy and soft. These are less breathable than mesh. But these are known for being a good fit and lightweight. 

Check: Do You Need To Buy Basketball Shoes For Basketball? 

Outsole Material and Texture

The outsole’s durability is as important as that of the upper material. Basketball shoemakers put real effort into making outsoles grippy and durable.

An expert tests the material of the outsole of basketball shoes by a dremal 10-second sandpaper test. But we have devised two main parameters that would help you determine the durability of the outsole material.

  1. When buying a basketball shoe, you must remember that if you have to use the shoe on outdoor courts, the rubber outsole pattern must be made of thicker grooves. 

The thin lines melt on the hot surface sooner than later and fuse. Thus it results in decreased traction and durability of the outsole.

  1. The rubber outsole is more durable and grippy than the translucent outsole. So please buy shoes with rubber outsole. Also should be made up of hard rubber compounds with deep and thick grooves.

What Are The Most Durable Basketball shoes?

If you invest more in a durable shoe, buying an XDR outsole shoe is the best option. 

Basketball is a game where designers focus on making shoes more for indoor use. When you use such shoes in outdoor areas, they tear apart very soon.

If you can invest more money in a pair that lasts longer than a season, buy XDR (extra durable rubber) outsole shoes. These are relatively durable and perfect for use indoors and outdoors.

Related: How To Plan A Good Basketball Practice

How Long Do Basketball Shoes Last?

Are Basketball Shoes Durable: Durablity of Basketball Shoes 2023

Basketball shoes will only last for a while, even if you buy the most durable shoes. If you use only one pair all the time without any trainer, then a clean indoor court would last a year. 

It can give its best traction and cushion during the period. So if the traction grooves are thick and wide, you can enjoy a whole year playing in them.

On the other hand, on outdoor basketball courts, they would last 6 months. Their traction will decrease over time. 

Check Out: Do Basketball shoes make you taller?

How To Judge The Durability Of Basketball Shoes When Buying

Many basketball shoe outsoles come with XDR tags. That means the outsole will only wear out for a while in outdoor areas. These kinds of shoes are more durable.

On the other hand, the upper mesh material with synthetic overlays on the pressure points makes it more durable. 

I would not suggest buying leather upper basketball shoes because excessive sweating will drain your energy and stamina in the game.

So look for these things when buying a shoe, and you will be good to go.

Is Durability Comes with a Decreased Breathability?

That is only sometimes true. Because recently, basketball shoes have used mesh upper materials that are durable and breathable. Most of the time, basketball shoes are only partially made of mesh material. They have a mix of mesh and synthetic leather or suede. So no worries, you won’t be missing on durability with modern tech mesh uppers in basketball shoes.

Best Shoes For Outdoor Basketball

Among the latest releases in basketball shoes, we have played and enjoyed the durability, cushion and traction of many shoes. We list 5 of them that topped our list in 2022 and would continue to be our favourites in 2023.

  • Nike KD 15
  • Harden Vol. 6
  • Nike PG 6
  • Jordan Zion 2
  • Jordan Luke 1


Basketball shoes are manufactured to last longer than any other sneaker. Runner shoes and trainers cannot last as long as they do under the same circumstances.

That said, if your basketball shoe has tough upper and wider outsole grooves with resilient and hard rubber, you know these bad boys will last a few seasons.

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